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Does gabapentin raise blood sugar?

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Unread 12-06-2011, 05:00 PM   #1
januarybabe
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Default Does gabapentin raise blood sugar?

I have had two slightly high readings on blood sugar level. One was a non fasting random of 126. The other reading was 111 fasting. Doctor didn't seem too concerned about it.

I was wondering if gabapentin could do this. I am also on Niaspan for high cholesterol. Could this do it? Or perhaps, it has nothing to do with drugs. I do have family history of diabetes.

I would hate to give up gabapentin as I would be in lot of pain without it.
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Unread 12-06-2011, 05:23 PM   #2
mrsD
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Niacin (in the Niaspan) does raise blood sugar.

here is a link with more detail:
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/v...-b3-000335.htm

There have been a few people on the net and here I have read, who claimed that gabapentin or Lyrica raised their blood sugar.
This may be because it causes food/carb cravings in some people, and this shows up in testing.

But I have failed to find confirmation of this on PubMed. Big Pharma has always historically hidden facts from doctors and the public about their products, so it might be there are papers out there about this that are just not published yet.

But in your case, I do think the Niaspan may be a culprit, as this is well documented.
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Unread 12-06-2011, 08:09 PM   #3
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If you have a meter, I'd keep an eye on the #s, just to be safe, given your history.
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Unread 12-06-2011, 11:41 PM   #4
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Confused Questions about this link

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsD View Post
Niacin (in the Niaspan) does raise blood sugar.

here is a link with more detail:
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/v...-b3-000335.htm
....
But in your case, I do think the Niaspan may be a culprit, as this is well documented.
I read this link with interest because my DW used to take Niaspan for high cholesterol, and now takes timed-release niacin (because it costs less than 1/10th as much).

Unless I missed something, all I see on that link is the statement:
Quote:
However, niacin may also raise blood sugar levels, which is particularly dangerous for someone with diabetes.
(emphasis of operative word mine)

"May" doesn't sound like "well documented". Is there anything more definite/conclusive?

Also, the first paragraph of that section on Diabetes is:
Quote:
Some evidence suggests that niacinamide (but not niacin) might help delay the time that you would need to take insulin in type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, eventually destroying them. Niacinamide may help protect those cells for a time, but more research is needed to tell for sure.
Doesn't/wouldn't that suggest that niacinamide (but not niacin) would actually have the effect of lowering blood sugar levels?

Another statement early in the article also puzzles me.
Quote:
All the B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that the body does not store them.
But most of us here are taking high levels of B12, which we're told is stored by the body in the liver. That same site contradicts itself by saying exactly that in its article about B12:
http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/002403.htm
Quote:
Definition of Vitamin B12:

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. After the body uses these vitamins, leftover amounts leave the body through the urine.

The body can store vitamin B12 for years in the liver.


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Unread 12-07-2011, 03:50 AM   #5
mrsD
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People vary in how much B12 they "store" in the liver. It can be up to 5 yrs worth, or much less.

B12 is lost daily, thru the bile. Some may be reabsorbed in the intestines but that varies among people too. People with inflammation will not be working as well as normal intestines.

B12 is also lost thru the kidneys, but less so. People with kidney failure or damage sometimes show elevated B12 serum levels when they are not using supplements.

The term fat soluble (hence stored) and water soluble (excreted) is an old definition, that with time has shown to be variable.
For example some pyridoxal from B6 is stored in muscle tissue, for use in sudden muscular activity. But this is not a huge amount or done in quantity. The newer form of Thiamine called benfotiamine is fat soluble and therefore is somewhat stored compared to regular thiamine which is excreted very quickly in the urine.

People vary considerably in their need for vitamins, and how they metabolize them. There is much leeway therefore in statements based on research available on them.

It has been known for years that niacin can increase blood sugar.
example:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21122637
Many doctors do know this in diabetic patients.

From rxlist.com: NiaspanClinical Laboratory Abnormalities

Quote:
...Chemistry: Elevations in serum transaminases [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS], LDH, fasting glucose, uric acid, total bilirubin, amylase and creatine kinase, and reduction in phosphorus.

Hematology: Slight reductions in platelet counts and prolongation in prothrombin time [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].....
Niacin may also give false-positive reactions with cupric sulfate solution (Benedict's reagent) in urine glucose tests.
Here is the Linus Pauling Institute's data:
They typically go into minute detail with studies, and many people find it difficult to understand it all:
Quote:
. Large doses of nicotinic acid have been observed to impair glucose tolerance, likely due to decreased insulin sensitivity. Impaired glucose-tolerance in susceptible (pre-diabetic) individuals could result in elevated blood glucose levels and clinical diabetes. Elevated blood levels of uric acid, occasionally resulting in attacks of gout in susceptible individuals, have also been observed with high-dose nicotinic acid therapy (34). Nicotinic acid at doses of 1.5 to 5 grams/day has resulted in a few case reports of blurred vision and other eye problems, which have generally been reversible upon discontinuation.
from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/niacin/

This link at Linus Pauling Institute goes into detail about studies with niacinamide done on type I children, that were promising for improving pancreatic functions. However, the results were not as great as expected.
The link you quoted, Dr. Smith, is a science writer's simplification of those studies.

As I stated, Niacin (nicotinic acid) has been documented to raise blood sugar in some people. This is not new information, its been around for years.

Readers are dependent on the talent of medical writers in translating data to informational documents. Some are better than others.
And when one little factoid appears in studies, it might be misinterpreted and passed down repeatedly. This happened with a compound that is toxic abbreviated GLA, which happens to cause seizures, and it was gathered in searching MedLine, for articles on evening primrose oil with contains GLA (another compound entirely, this one is gamma Linoleic acid), which is benign. For a long time and probably still (I haven't looked recently) evening primrose oil still contains a caution for causing seizures, on laymen sites concerning evening primrose oil.
I found that by accident, doing searches myself over a decade ago.

The same holds true of pharmacy databases, which vary from store to store. Some are pretty up to date, and others lag behind in flagging drug interactions. Not everything on your handout in a pharmacy may be 100% accurate either. They try hard, but sometimes it take YEARS for some updating, there too. It took forever for some SSRI/serotonin interactions to appear on those data bases. I was finding information on Medline long before they appeared for the public.
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Last edited by mrsD; 12-07-2011 at 05:15 AM.
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Unread 12-07-2011, 02:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsD View Post
The link you quoted, Dr. Smith, is a science writer's simplification of those studies.
[REALLY]
MrsD, I only quoted the link you cited as support for your statement. I read it carefully (several times), and what I read/construed not only did not support that statement - it seemed to be saying the opposite!

Thanks for the explanation; I hope you can appreciate my confusion (it may not have been the best link to cite in this particular instance, though I appreciate your intent as always).

I'm still confused about the conflicting statements about storage/non-storage of B vitamins (they are, they aren't, they aren't but then they're re-absorbed, they measure high (elevated) when they're not.... <--frustration) but it's not going to change anything/have any effect with regard to my continuing taking it.

Thanks again for elucidating on the niacin/glucose questions; those may pose a more immediate concern (awareness thereof) for my DW...

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Unread 12-07-2011, 03:45 PM   #7
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Just so you know..... I use the University of Maryland's database for quick answers. I know many of the answers already, but many do not like the detailed medical/chemical explanations other sites hold.

The links I gave for January were adequate for her questions.

People who want MORE are always able to search further. I have posted the Linus Pauling links for all supplements all over these boards, and sometimes it is not necessary for all posts. You should go there are read them when you have time. It is a huge database.

Her doctor should be aware of the Niacin/blood sugar thing. It is well known IMO in the medical area. It is on the INSERT for Niaspan even, so it would be in his PDR.

There is never going to be definitive vitamin information because the data changes constantly. The simplistic rules of the past are no longer valid, when the initial vitamin research was done. Much of that information is very old now. And there is no one answer for every person either because we are finding huge genetic differences in the metabolism of many common vitamins. Folic acid and B12 are prime examples.

When you have time research Dr. Bruce Ames' papers on PubMed, as he believes that abberant metabolism of all B vits is responsible for many human illnesses and aging changes.

I have read much of the nutrient information over the last decade, and I know how patients present and react to things.
I've learned where the useful information is found and where to look for reliable things that are understandable for most readers here.

I am sorry you don't understand my links. There there little I can do about that. Niacinamide and nicotinic acid are different and the old studies on niacinamide didn't pan out well. Niaspan is nicotinic acid and has always been implicated in raising blood sugar readings. In normals it may approach diabetes, and in diabetics it might be more significant than that.
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